The Ultimate Guide to Pro-Aging Skincare and Why You Should Start in Your 20s

how to take care of your skin as you age

We’ve all had that moment where it sinks in – wrinkles are coming. At some point in life, your age will reflect itself onto your skin, and that’s okay. There are two things to do when realization settles in: 

  1. Embrace that we’ll all get wrinkles someday
  2. Start preventative skincare NOW to protect your skin 

Aging doesn’t have to be a big scary thing! It can be a rewarding journey watching your face change as you mature. It’s possible to learn how to love what you see in the mirror at all stages. 

If you’re not sure how to do that, this blog post is exactly what you need. We’re going to help you embrace every little smile line as it arrives while also mapping out a prevention plan. 

When to start using age-delay skincare

Most people start using anti-aging skincare in their 50s once they start seeing irreversible signs of wrinkles and sagging skin. It’s sad to say, but that’s when you’re too late. In your 20s, cell turnover takes about 30 days, meaning you replenish fresh skin cells every month and shed dull ones. 

That process slows down as you age, making it harder to see changes in your skin. Even the most potent "anti-aging" skincare can take 2-3 months to yield the slightest results. In our 40s and 50s, cells turn over every 45 to 90 days. This can cause a lot of buildup on the skin, increasing texture, loss of radiance, and less elasticity. 

That’s why we’re encouraging a preventative approach – it’s so much easier to prevent something from happening than trying to undo the damage that’s already been done. Don’t wait until your 50s to start taking care of your skin and embrace healthy skincare habits! 

Signs your skin is aging

According to Allure, “your 20s are when you'll likely start noticing the first signs of aging though they can differ from person to person depending on genetics and lifestyle”. It can be hard to tell when you’re starting to see your first signs of aging, but these are some common cues to look out for.

Here are 7 early signs of aging according to dermatologists and what to do about them. 

1. Fine lines around the brows, forehead, eyes, and lips

We know what it’s like to look in the mirror and notice thin fine lines that weren’t there yesterday. It’s like they pop up out of nowhere, sometimes overnight! 

If you’re noticing super fine lines between your eyebrows, on your forehead, around the eyes, or even the lips, the best way to slow them down is to find skincare products with rejuvenating ingredients like peptides, bakuchiol, and niacinamide. These ingredients will banish signs of aging along with dark circles and dull, uneven skin.

on ice hydrogel bakuchiol mask

Hot-take: Try the Serve Chilled™ On Ice Hydrogel Mask for a refreshing cocktail of skin-smoothing, depuffing ingredients like bakuchiol, cloudberry oil, and 9 different peptides to firm, nourish and smooth the skin!

The best part? This chill face mask cools on contact to brighten and energize the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines all over the face. Need extra help under the eyes? Apply the Serve Chilled™ On Ice Eye Gels before laying the sheet mask on top to multi-task and deliver the same benefits to under-eye fine lines. 

Keep an eye out for liplines 

If you notice lip lines beginning to form, don’t panic. Lip lines start appearing around your 40s, but they could develop sooner from smoking or prolonged sun exposure. After 25, our bodies start producing less collagen and elastin every year, which means you can actively prevent lip lines starting in your mid-20s. 

Hydrating Lip Gels are crucial for youthful-looking lips – a soothing blend of vitamins and antioxidants provide essential hydration, lock in moisture, and replenish lost elasticity to leave lips feeling soft and supple.

FlashPatch® Hydrating Lip Gels smooth the lips and diminish the appearance of fine lines around the area with the help of niacinamide, peptides, and green tea extract to deliver anti-aging benefits in just 5 minutes. 

2. Sunspots

Everyone loves that sunkissed glow in the summer and no one wants to apply SPF in the winter. But if you don’t protect your skin from harmful sun rays with SPF at all times, (yes, during the winter and the cloudy days, too!) it can lead to freckles and sunspots. 

Freckles are like Sour Patch Kids – they’re cute in the moment until they become an early sunspot and an early sign of sun damage. Their presence can signal that your skin has been overexposed to UV light, which can also lead to skin sagging over time. 

Prevent sunspots by using a face sunscreen that won’t clog your pores or leave behind a white cast. We love Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen because it doesn’t smell like sunscreen and can be worn year-round to protect your skin from UV rays in any season! 

It’s also a great idea to find skincare with niacinamide to reduce the appearance of dark spots! Our favorite Just Let It Glow sheet mask has niacinamide and seaberry extract that can help protect the skin from environmental damage while also hydrating and plumping the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

crows feet fine lines at your eyes

3. Crow’s feet

This is one of the first signs of aging in twenty-somethings and there are a couple ways to prevent them from escalating rapidly. First, get a good pair of sunglasses. It’s important to find sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection to prevent sun damage as well as squinting. Squinting often can cause your crow’s feet to form prematurely. 

You can also delay the appearance of crow’s feet by replenishing antioxidants to the under-eye. Since it’s a sensitive area, under-eye gels are a great way to boost radiance and reduce crow’s feet without damaging a sensitive area. We recommend Illuminating Eye Gels with green tea extract, vitamin C, and mulberry extract to boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Nighttime repair is always a great idea when it comes to treating stubborn signs of aging like crow’s feet, because your skin is known to absorb nutrients better at night”. It’s been proven that between 10 PM and 12 AM is the best time to repair skin. That’s why Restoring Night Hydrogel Eye Patches are formulated with a powerful combo of retinol, peptides, and arnica extract to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and boost collagen production to naturally hydrate, soften, and protect from free radicals. Use these every night before bed for just 5 minutes and you’ll notice a brighter, more youthful under-eye. 

face mask exfoliate mate remove dead skin mask

4. Skin dullness and lack of radiance

If you’re struggling to maintain that dewy, radiant glow to your skin year-round, it could be a sign that your skin is aging. Aging isn’t a bad thing, it’s more of an inevitable thing. But if you’re interested in delaying the process and replenishing lost moisture, exfoliation is your best friend. 

First, slough off dead skin cells to reveal new, radiant skin under the surface by exfoliating. Exfoliate Mate is the perfect no-mess exfoliating sheet mask infused with natural enzymes such as pineapple and papaya extract to exfoliate gently, unveiling smoother, brighter skin. 

5. Puffy or dark under-eyes

Puffy and dark under-eyes can be hereditary, so if you’ve had these since your teen years and you think they might run in the family, it can be harder to get rid of. However, there’s no harm in using products to prevent them from getting puffier or darker, right? 

If you suffer from puffy eyes, dark circles, or even wrinkles under the eyes, Rejuvenating Eye Gels accelerate the delivery of caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen to revitalize your under-eye area. Don’t underestimate the power of a good eye gel – powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides deliver intense moisture and promote collagen production, leaving your skin visibly smoother and more youthful. If you don’t believe us, here’s what your peers are saying about these bad boys: 

100 participants said after five minutes of using Rejuvenating Eye Gels:

  • 100% said their tired eyes appeared awakened, revived, and revitalized
  • 98% said their under-eye area looked and felt smoother
  • 97% said their under-eye area looked less puffy
  • 94% said one 5-minute under-eye treatment provided more immediate results than their current under-eye skincare routine

Now those are some impressive results! Try them out for yourself and let us know what you think.

dry skin fix and hydrate with sheet masks

6. Dry skin

It’s so important to replenish lost hydration to delay the aging process – dry skin causes wrinkles and sags to appear, which can speed up the aging process. 

If you’re walking around life without a go-to hydrating sheet mask, we’re here to help. FlashMasque Hydrate 5-Minute Sheet Masks deliver hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to your skin quickly and effectively, helping to reduce dryness and reveal softer, smoother skin in as little as five minutes - up to four times faster than traditional sheet masks.

It’s also important to drink anywhere from half a gallon to 1 gallon per day. Keeping your body hydrated will keep your skin hydrated, too!

7. Drooping around the jaw and cheeks

If you’re noticing that your skin looks less taught around the jawline and cheekbones, look for skincare with ingredients that will improve skin elasticity. The Beauty Sleep Restoring Night Face Mask is loaded with hydrolyzed collagen and centella asiatica to help improve skin elasticity, hydrate, and restore skin's youthful bounce. It also has skin-restoring retinol and peptides to smooth fine lines. 

Pro-tip: Pair your sheet mask with Restoring Night Under Eye Gels to achieve two goals in 5-10 minutes tops!

The difference between anti-aging and pro-aging 

With age-delay skincare should come the responsibility to remove the intrusive, stereotypical, and judgemental approach to aging that the media’s unrealistic beauty standards have bestowed upon us. 

Instead of viewing aging as a shameful thing or something we’re doing wrong, we need to start embracing it as a natural part of life. Anti-aging is out and pro-aging is in.

So, what’s the difference between anti-aging and pro-aging? According to Real Simple, “anti-aging is a skin-stimulating, intrusive approach to try to stop and/or reverse the natural progression of aging skin” using products that penetrate the skin on a deeper level, while pro-aging “means working with your body, using moisture, antioxidants, and cell turnover to keep skin looking its best”.

That’s what we want to achieve – work with your body to benefit from its natural processes and encourage a healthy, natural progression of the skin and body, 

Pro-aging is about more than just skincare

Pro-aging is about making lifestyle changes – not only to your skincare routine but also to your general health. Instead of running from the idea of aging, we need to do the hard work of embracing it and doing everything we can to stay healthy! Encourage good sleep, healthy eating habits, and daily hydration to feel all-around better about what we see in the mirror. 

Embrace your skin at every age - you’re timeless!

When you really think about it, our skin tells a story. The freckles show signs of happy summer days lying in the sun, and our smile lines tell the world that we’ve laughed and expressed joy so much that it changed our faces.

As we navigate the journey of life and our skin evolves, the most important part is to love the person staring back at you. f you let them, wrinkles can be empowering! 

Initiating a preventative skincare routine in your 20s becomes an investment in self-love and a reminder that every smile line is a sign of a life well-lived.

Rather than succumbing to unrealistic beauty standards, let’s embrace aging as a natural, beautiful part of our journey. Let’s work with our bodies to achieve that glowy, dewy skin by letting the radiance come from within. Embrace your skin at every age – you are so so timeless!

Check out more skincare products from Patchology